Specialized Committee-Biomaterial and Bioenergy

Keynote Lecture I

Keynote Speakers: Prof. Orlando Rojas

Title: Recent Advances in the Utilization of Biomass-derived Nanomaterials and Enabling Nanotechnologies for the Future Bioeconomy

Time: Friday, November 20th 2020, at 5:00-6:00 pm Vancouver time (Saturday, November 21st 2020, at 9:00-10:00 am Beijing Time)

Prof. Orlando Rojas Bio:

Prof. Rojas is a Canada Excellence Research Chair in top-ranked University of British Columbia, under a program that supports world‑renowned scientists. In this condition he is the Director of the Bioproducts Institute and shares affiliation with three departments of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chemistryand Wood Science. Part of his research group (Bio-based Colloids and Materials) also operates in Aalto University, Finland, where he is visiting professor and, earlier, professor in the departments of Bioproducts and Biosystems and Applied Physics (2013), following his tenure as Professor in the Department of Forest Biomaterials in North Carolina State University (NCSU, 2004-2013).

Prof. Rojas joins academician Prof. Lina Zhang as a recipient of the Anselme Payen Award, established by the American Chemical Society in 1962, the highest recognition in the area of cellulose and renewable materials. In addition, Prof. Rojas is an elected as Fellow of the American Chemical Society (2013), the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters (2017) and recipient of the Tappi Nanotechnology Award (2015).

Prof. Rojas was chair of Aalto’s Materials Platform and leads, with the Finnish Research Center (VTT), a national competence center to advance the Finnish materials bioeconomy, the FinnCERES Flagship.  He was co-PI of the Academy of Finland‘s Center of Excellence in Molecular Engineering of Biosynthetic Hybrid Materials Research, HYBER. His most recent research grants include the prestigious European Research Commission Advanced Grant (ERC-Advanced) and a Horizon H2020 project, among many others.

During his career he has advised 40 postdoctoral fellows, 55 PhD and 34 MS students. He has also hosted 112 international visiting scholars and professors (2 months to two years). With a h-index of 70 (Google Scholar), he has authored about 410 peer-reviewed papers and a larger number of conference contributions related to the core research, mainly dealing with nanostructures from renewable materials and their utilization in multiphase systems.

Lecture Content

In this webinar Prof. Rojas will first introduce UBC’s BioProducts Institute, an innovative ecosystem of high-impact fundamental and applied research that brings together inter- and multi-disciplinary scientists, engineers, and market and policy experts to unlock the full potential of materials, chemicals and fuels that can be produced from biomass. He will then share the experience with biological systems, especially, structured, hierarchical and nano-scaled building blocks that develop multiple functions. They are best exemplified by nanocelluloses, which display thermo-mechanical and optical properties that are central to the field of biomimicry. Together with nanolignins and other materials produced from renewable resources, such particles are being explored as possible solutions to the future material demands. The interfacial assembly and structuring in water, the natural biosynthesis medium, dictate the opportunity for any potential utilization. Prof. Rojas will summarize their experience in this area, considering fundamental aspects such as the interactions and the assembly at solid/liquid, liquid/liquid and gas/liquid interfaces. Recognizing the importance of these aspects, several examples of advanced materials produced from cellulose, lignin and tannins will be introduced, including those with bioactivity, stimuli-responsiveness and capabilities for energy harvesting.

Keynote Lecture II

Keynote Speakers: Prof. Feng Jiang

Title: Advanced structural design and emerging application of nanocellulose

Time: Friday, May 28th 2021, at 6:00-7:00 pm Vancouver time (Saturday, May 29th 2021, at 9:00-10:00 am Beijing Time)

Prof. Feng Jiang Bio:

Dr. Feng Jiang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Wood Science at the University of British Columbia, and a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Functional Biomaterials. He serves as Webinar Chair for TAPPI NANO Division, Member at Large for ACS CELL Division, Editorial Board member of Carbohydrate Polymers. His research area focuses on developing advanced materials from lignocellulosic biomass, and his research interest includes isolation and functionalization of bio-based nanomaterials, assembly of bio-based nanomaterials into fibres, films, aerogel, and hydrogels, additive manufacturing, wood adhesives, as well as applications in thermal management, energy storage, and environmental remediation.

He has published over 70 journal articles in high-impact journals, including Nature Materials, Science Advances, Joule, Advanced Materials, Advanced Energy Materials, Advanced Functional Materials, Angewandte Chemie, ACS Nano, Energy Storage Materials, Journal of Materials Chemistry A, Chemical Engineering Journal, Nanoscale Horizons, Chemistry of Materials, and ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. He has authored several invited book chapters and been invited to deliver over 25 presentations at international conferences and Universities.

Lecture content

As nature’s most sophistic fibrous building block, cellulose nanofibril (CNF) is featured with unique properties including ultrathin lateral dimension (1-2 nm), high aspect ratio (500-1000), superb mechanical properties (~100 GPa modulus), and versatile surface chemistries, making it ideal for assembling into varied hierarchical structures, adapting to our ever-increasing needs for sustainable functional materials. The Sustainable Functional Biomaterials lab at UBC focuses on designing various types of hierarchical structures by manipulating the assembly of CNFs, including ultra-strong fibers, films hydrogel, aerogel, and 3D printed monoliths, which demonstrated great potentials for applications in environmental remediation, water treatment, thermal management, energy storage, and sensors. In this presentation, I will discuss several examples of CNF-based 3D structures developed in my lab. I.) Lightweight and flexible CNF aerogel was developed by ice crystals or Pickering emulsion templating strategies. The aerogel presented high liquid absorbency, ultralow thermal conductivity, elasticity, and can be used for oil/water separation, solar steam generation, organic dye removal, CO2adsorption, and thermal insulation. II.) A super-strong, anti-freezing, and ionic conducting hydrogel will also be presented by using CNFs as reinforcing fillers, which can simultaneously enhance the mechanical strength, toughness, and ionic conductivity. III.) 3D printing via direct-ink-writing offers great versatility for designing complex structure using nanocellulose.

Keynote lecture III

Keynote speaker: Prof. Mark MacLachlan

Title: Creating New Photonic Materials from Cellulose Nanocrystals

Time: June 11th 2021, 6.00pm-7.00pm Vancouver time

Prof. Mark MacLachlan Bio:

Prof. Mark MacLachlan obtained his B.Sc. degree from UBC and Ph.D. degree from the University of Toronto in 1999, where he worked with Ian Manners and Geoff Ozin. Following a 2-year NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship with Tim Swager at M.I.T., Mark returned to UBC to begin as an Assistant Professor in 2001. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2007 and to Full Professor in 2011. He has received an E. W. R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship (2012-2014), the Rutherford Medal of the Royal Society of Canada (2013), and the Award for Excellence in Materials Chemistry of the Canadian Society of Chemistry (2016). He holds the Canada Research Chair in Supramolecular Materials. Mark’s research interests span supramolecular chemistry, macrocycle chemistry, nanomaterials, mesoporous materials, photonic structures, and biopolymers.